By Suzanne Vranica WSJ Tues., March 19, 2019 Rebecca Kinney, a pregnant 24-year-old from Spokane, Wash., received a greeting card in the mail several weeks ago with about $200 in gift cards for baby products. “So excited for you! Hope you like these,” said the note, which appeared handwritten, complete with an ink smudge. It was signed with a heart, “Jen.” Ms. Kinney texted friends to figure out who sent it, but came up empty. She isn’t alone. The same card has landed in the mailboxes of dozens of pregnant women around the country. It turns out “Jen” isn’t a friend or relative but rather part of an elaborate, personalized marketing program aimed at mothers-to-be. The women targeted were on a list of expectant mothers acquired by Utah-based Mothers Lounge LLC from sources in the marketing world, according to Jayson Crawley, a local law-enforcement official in Virginia who investigated the matter. Aiming ads at … [Read more...] about Which ‘Jen’ Sent the Baby Gift Cards? Not One You Know.
It’s no secret that your personal data is routinely bought and sold by dozens, possibly hundreds, of companies. What’s less known is who those companies are, and what exactly they do. Thanks to a new Vermont law requiring companies that buy and sell third-party personal data to register with the state, we’ve been able to assemble a list of over 100 data brokers operating in the U.S. It’s a rare, rough glimpse into a bustling economy that operates largely in the shadows, and often with few rules. Even Vermont’s first-of-its-kind law, which went into effect last month, is limited in scope: It doesn’t require data brokers to disclose who’s in their databases, what data they collect, or who buys it. Nor does it require brokers to give consumers access to their own data or opt out of data collection. Brokers are, however required to provide some information about their opt-out systems under the law–assuming they provide one. If you do want … [Read more...] about Here are the data brokers quietly buying and selling your personal information
(Reuters) - Experian Plc, the world's biggest credit data firm, said on Wednesday that it had agreed with rival ClearScore to abandon their proposed merger, after Britain's competition watchdog indicated in November that it may block the deal. "Taking into account subsequent interaction with the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority), Experian does not believe that the CMA will approve the proposed acquisition of ClearScore on satisfactory terms," Experian said in a statement. The CMA had warned that the 275 million pound deal could stifle development of digital products that help customers understand personal finances. Experian, a FTSE 100 company, wanted to expand in Britain with the purchase of ClearScore, which provides free access to credit reports and scores, and introduces consumers to personal financial products. (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr) … [Read more...] about Experian, ClearScore scrap merger plans
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The nation’s major credit reporting agencies faced renewed scrutiny from Congress on Tuesday, as lawmakers consider legislation overhauling the industry. FILE PHOTO: The logo and trading information for Credit reporting company Equifax Inc. are displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., September 26, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson Top executives from the three major credit reporting agencies - Equifax Inc, Experian Plc and TransUnion had to defend their business models before skeptical lawmakers who appeared eager to order changes to the sector following Expedia’s massive data breach, disclosed in 2017. “Our nation’s consumer credit reporting system is broken,” said Representative Maxine Waters, chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee. “I’m troubled to the point where I do think that we need to start thinking about how we reimagine it and rebuild it from … [Read more...] about Credit reporting agencies face pressure from skeptical U.S. Congress
(Reuters) - Experian Plc reported a rise in third-quarter organic revenue on Thursday, as more banks and businesses in North America hired the world's biggest credit data company. The FTSE-100 company said organic revenue from ongoing activities at constant exchange rates rose 9 percent in the three months ended Dec. 31. Experian also reaffirmed its targets for the year. (Reporting by Muvija M and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru) … [Read more...] about Experian third-quarter organic revenue rises on North America boost